ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford threw a pair of touchdown passes and the St. Louis Rams beat Arizona 17-3 on Thursday night, handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
The loss leaves Atlanta and Houston as the lone unbeaten teams in the NFL.
The Cardinals, who are coached by Augusta native Ken Whisenhunt, are 4-1.
The Rams improved to 3-2.
Bradford only connected on 7 of 21 passes for 141 yards, and he spaced out his touchdown passes.
He hit Lance Kendricks on a 7-yard scoring strike on the Rams’ first drive of the night.
Then, early in the fourth quarter he hit Chris Givens on a 51-yard scoring strike to put the Rams up 17-3.
The Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb passed for 289 yards, but couldn’t get his team in the end zone.
Robert Quinn had three of the Rams’ nine sacks of Kolb to keep the Cardinals grounded.
Arizona scored at least 20 points in each of its first four games, but had no luck containing a pass rush that entered the game with only six sacks.
The Rams totaled two victories last year but so far have executed a quick turnaround under new coach Jeff Fisher.
They’re 3-0 at home for the first time since 2003, when they were unbeaten in Edward Jones Dome and they’re above .500 for the first time since they were 4-3 on Nov. 4, 2006.
The Rams, ranked 27th in offense, came out throwing, with Bradford completing passes of 14 yards to Brandon Gibson and 44 yards Danny Amendola on the first two plays from scrimmage in the game, setting up the score to Kendricks on third down.
It was the first offensive touchdown in three games for St. Louis.
Arizona responded with a drive that lasted 9:24, ending with Jay Feely’s 35-yard field goal to make it 7-3, still in the first quarter.
The Cardinals kept the drive alive with three third-down conversions. Larry Fitzgerald’s 5-yard catch on the first play of the drive marked the 122nd straight game with a catch, a franchise record.
Fitzgerald finished the game with eight catches for 92 yards.
The Rams’ Greg Zuerlein, a sixth-round draft pick out of Missouri Western, made it 10-3 early in the second quarter with a 53-yard field goal.